Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DIY Detangling Spray

                                                 Princess  Pea loves "Rapunzel" .Her silky ,long golden hair fascinates her . She wants to be like her  , wants to have long hair and leave them untied . That's the problem . In the entire movie they don't show whether there were tangles in her hair and whether she cried or not while brushing them off . My wanna be Rapunzel has a problem with the brush . Even though her hair looks straight ,it gets tangled really bad . That means detangling spray is one of my survivor tools . Now when the crafting bug has got me , I started reading the labels and ofcourse there was Pinterest . I reallized it's nothing but the conditioner and water solution .I tried mixing different proportions of conditioner and water . I also added little coconut oil to nourish her hair . And here we are....with no more tears...

1/2 cup hair conditioner
3 cups of hot water
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil

Mix together in a spray bottle and it's ready to use .

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Brocflowpper Paratha / Broccoli , cauliflower ,Bell Pepper Paratha

                                            Paratha is a staple when it comes to a lunch box . No messy hands , no leftover sabzi.. Like most of the moms I also want to hide most of the vegetables in kiddo's food . While packing in the lunch box , I cut the paratha like a pizza in small 8 pieces so the kiddos can pick one piece at a time and dip in yougurt or ketchup .
What we need :-
Cover :
3 cups wheat flour
salt to taste
1/2 tsp oil
Filling :
1/2 cup grated cauliflower
1/2 cup grated broccoli
1 medium green pepper finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1-2 green chillies finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp aamchur(raw mango)powder
1tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste
Butter or ghee optional to apply while cooking
To proceed :
1) Make a soft dough woth the wheat flour and keep aside covered for 10 min .
2) Mix all the ingredients of the filling .
3) Take two lemon sized dough balls and roll into about 6"circles .
4) Spread enough filling on one of them and cover with the other .
5) seal the ends very well .
6 ) Roll out the paratha to desired thickness .
7) Cook on a hot griddle till tiny brown spots appear on each side .
8) Add little butter or ghee to finish cooking .
              Serve hot with raita ,ketchup or have it as is . This stays soft even after getting cold and goes really well in the lunch box .

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bento lunches

             Last year while surfing on the net I fumbled upon . I was amazed by the the bento lunches . Like most of the kids my kiddos also like to have many options in their lunch box . I could not find images for Indian food Bento box and decided to give it a try .I have not yet bought the Bento lunch box but using my regular lunch box the Bento way .

Steamed rice ,Dal makhani ,Cauliflower paratha ,Cherry tomatoes ,Grapes and a few chocolate chips . This was accompanied by chocolate milk and a granola bar for snack .

Carrot and Peas Pulav ,Cheese paratha , Homemade yogurt , Cherry tomatoes ,Grapes , Almond flour chocolate chip cookies , Dried Cranberries along with chocolate milk .
Shell Pasta in Cilantro - Spinach Pesto ,Hard Boiled Egg ,Cherry Tomatoes ,Grapes ,Dried Cranberries ,Crackers , Walnuts and chocolate cake along with white milk .
Methi Dal , Surati Undhiyu , Lemon Rice , Canataloup , Cherry tomatoes ,Dried Cranberries in lettuce cup and  Roti along with walnuts....
  Carrot Sticks , Italian bread , Dates,cherry tomatoes , Banana pudding , Cantaloup , Idlies ,CXheese and Cracker sandwiches along with milk and Granola bar .
Dal with Drumsticks ,Bell peppers with Besan , Lemon Rice , Roti and Apple

           Cheese Paratha ,Cerry tomatoes ,Tomato ketchup , chocolte cookies ,Apple and milk ..
                   Bourbon cookies , dried Cranberries , Vegetable Quesadilla and Strawberry milk .

                                           Mac n cheese , Steamed broccoli , Bread with cheese spread , grapes, Oreo cookies, Fennel seed candy , Yogurt and Milk
                                    Pav-Bhaji ,Grapes , Oreo cookies and Yogurt

             Spaghetti wit vegetable sauce , fresh Mozzarella -Tomato salad , Grapes, Oreo cookies , Cheese Garlic bread , Yogurt and Milk

          Turkey Pastrami sandwich with hummus and Chipotle Gouda , fresh Mozzarella - Tomato-Basil salad , Grapes ,Oreo cookies and Yogurt

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Almond flour chocolate chip cookies


                                         It's the first day of school today ...The summer break was too short ....I still need to do so many thing with kiddos.. I wanted to make something special for them ...Kids love cookies... My friend Raman always talks about her almond cookies ...Jr being busy with many after school activities I wanted to give him some protein packed snack...I am not in favor of protein powder at this stage and always keep looking for natural protein sources . That's the reason these cookies appealed to me ..
                           I did not buy the store bought almond flour .It's very easy to make at home . Just put the almonds in the food processor and grind them in a powder .It's easier to grind the almonds without making them oily  if the they are chilled .I added white and regular chocolate chips just to make the cookies interesting . These cookies have a different texture than the regular cookies . The cookie dough freezes well , so I made two batches and froze one batch for later use . I made smaller cookies as these are going to be kid's snack on their way to after school activities .

What we need :-

3 cups of almond flour
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

optional :-
 dried cranberries , chopped walnuts , raisins or any chopped dry fruits

How to proceed :-

1)Preheat the oven to 375 degrees .
2) Beat the butter and sugar till light and creamy ( about 2-4 mins)
3) Add egg and vanilla to it .Continue mixing .
4)Add salt and baking soda .
5)Add almond powder .
6)Mix well .
7)Fold in chocolate chips or anything that you want to add to your cookies .
8)Scoop about a tablespoonful mound on a parchment or silicone sheet lined cookie sheet .
9)Gently press down to form a small disc .
10) Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 mins untill the edges are brown .
11)Let them cool in the cookie sheet for 3-4 mins before moving them to a cooling rack .

           I made only one batch of cookies and it made 22 small cookies . I froze the other batch for later use . This definitely is a protein packed snack . I did not peel the almonds so the cookies have enough fibers in them .



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DIY Lip Balm

                                          Fall is definitely in the air . The cooler evenings are reminding me to stock up on chapsticks and lotions. Junior does not want to use the chapsticks as it's a girly thing to do . And princess Pea always wants to put lipstick but mom does not let her do. There has to be a solution for both thyese situations . Miss Ash  has recently posted pictures of her homemade lip balm and I hit a bull's eye .Junior just does not like the way the lip balm is packaged and Princess Pea can have a bit of color . I had these small containers from the  dollar store that I use to send condiments or dressings or yogurt to school . These are small 2"x2" containers,perfect to store lip balm . The project is easy to make and the results are amazing .

Materials needed :

3 Tbsp grated Beeswax
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp Shea butter
3 Tbsp Mango butter ( you can use cocoa butter,coffee butter also)
little food color ( i dipped the tip of toothpick in red food color and swirled it 2 times )

              The red color does not stain the lips but makes tinted lip balm . I know I am cheating Princess Pea but she really thinks her lips are red after applying this lip balm You can even add grated lipcolor if you want to have colored lip balm .

To proceed :

      Melt all the ingredients in a double boiler . I used my favorite glass measuring cup . Pour in the containers .It sets pretty quickly , in a few minuts .

            I am planning to jazz up my containers next time . Junior is really pleased with the balm and the container ,he is using it almost all the time . It works like a charm on Princess Pea's lips who has eczema .

Enjoy .....

Gift Box Cake


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rose Petal Soap

                       I wanted to give Princess Pea a spa day ; but was not comfortable in taking her to actual spa . She is too young to go to a spa . So why not bring the spa to home ? Again I don't want to introduce her to new chemicals . That lead to make the rose petal soap . Roses make me feel royal . So why not make my princess feel the royalty . To give a special touch to it I used silicone muffin molds to make soap so they  fit easily in her small hands and the soap looks special too .

Things we need :-

The soap base
2 Tbsp Shea butter
2 Tbsp Heavy cream
2 Tbsp Rose essence 
Couple of drops of pink color
2 Tbsp dried rose flowers

 To proceed :-

Melt the soap base in the microwave according to the directions on the package  .
Add the rest of the ingredients in order and stir well .
Pour in the muffin molds .
Wait for around 40 mins and unmold the soaps .

       My soap has bubbles on the surface . I did not have the rubbing alcohol at home . But after pouring the soaps in molds, spray some rubbing alcohol on them to get rid of the bubbles and have a smooth surface .


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

For the LOVES of my life

Baked Vada Pav / Baked Sliders

                                 The weather has been pretty messed up this summer . It's August ,and the grass is still green . Most of the evenings bring thunderstorms along . Rain and bhaji's , pakodas go hand in hand . Junior studies health and nutrition at school and that means nothing more than trouble to mom . He watches me like a hawk keeping an eye on how much oil I am using, whether the salt is within limits and the list goes on . He loves Vada-Pav but was reluctant to eat it because it's fried . I was thinking about making puffs when the thought of baking vada pav crossed my mind . Once again the bread maker was at my service . The outcome was so amazing , I think I am never going back to the authentic version of making vada pav again .

Bread :-

Water (room temperature ) :- 1 1/8 cups
Unsalted Butter (room temperature , cut into 1/2 inch pieces ) :- 2 Tbsp +1 tsp
honey :-2 1/4 Tbsp
Salt :- 1 1/8 tsp
Bread flour :- 3 cups
Nonfat dry milk :- 3 Tbsp
Yeast ( activedry,instant or bread machine ) :- 1 1/2 tsp

Vada :-

5-6 Medium sized potatoes
1" Ginger
5-6 Garlic cloves
5-6 Green chillies
8-10 curry leaves
Jiuce of 1 lemon
salt to taste
a pinch of sugar
2 tsp cilantro chopped
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
a pinch of hing

Cover :-

1 Cup Besan ( Gram flour / chickpea flour )
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Garlic Chutney :-

10-12 Garlic cloves
1 cup grated coconut ( I used dry dessicated coconut )
1  1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin
salt to taste
a pinch of sugar

Tamarind Chutney :-

1/4 cup Tamco tamarind paste
1 cup Jaggery grated
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Cumin
Salt to taste
1/4 cup water

How tp proceed :-

1) Bread :
        1)Mix all the ingredients for the bread in order to make a soft dough .
        2)Divide in 10 equal sized balls .

2)Vada :
        1.Boil and peel the potatoes .
        2.Mash the potatoes roughly .
        3.Grind ginger,garilic and green chillies and curry leaves coarsely .
        4.Heat oil in a pan .Once the oil is hot ,add mustard seeds,hing and turmeric . Add the above mentioned paste and fry till the raw smell is gone .
        5.Add Potatoes,salt and sugar and mix well .
        6.Cover and cook for 3-4 mins untill thoroughly heated .
        7.Add cilantro .
        8.Set aside to cool down .
        9.Divide in 10 equal portions and make round balls .

3) Cover :
         Mix all the ingredients and keep aside .

4) Garlic Chutney :
         Grind all the ingredients except coconut for 2-3 mins . The add the coconut and blend well .

5) Tamarind Chutney :
         1)Dry roast the cumin till it turns almost black and has a nutty roasted aroma.
         2)Grind together all the ingreadients .
         3)The consistency of this chutney shoud be thick .

Assembly :-

1) Preheat the oven to the lowest setting (170 degrees ) and turn it off .
2) Grease a large cookie sheet .
3) Roll each bread dough ball in 6" diameter .
4)Spread 1 1/2 tsp garlic chutney on it .
5)Sread a tsp of tamarind chutney .
6)Dip a vada ball in cover batter and place on the garlic chutney .
7)Place it on the chutney applied bread .
8)Gather all the side and make into a ball very gently .
9)Put it on a greased cookie sheet and Keep in the preheated oven for 10 mins .
10)Take out and preheat the the oven to 400 degrees.
11)Bake for 20 mins till the crust is golden brown .
12 . Cut in half.Add more chutneys if you like and enjoy with a hot piping Kadak Chai ...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Giving Fondant a try

                                          This was the first time I tried making flowers with the Fondant .

Anniversary Cake

Happy Anniversary Dearest....

Patriotic Cake

               4 th of July Cake

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Laundry Detergent

                       Pinterest is awesome.. It has triggered my imagination and my love for crafts . I love DIY projects . So when I saw couple of pins on DIY laundry detergent, I knew almost immediately I want to make it . I made changes to the recipes there and came up with my version of it . Now my laundry gets clean ,smells divine and very economical .
 What we need :-

2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda
2 cups Oxy Clean
1 cup Dawn Dish detergent
3 cups Purex crystals

                Put all the ingredients in a gallon sized bottle .I did not have any so I used empty soda bottle . Funnel works great for this .Add 4 cups of boiling water to it . mix it carefully .Once everything is mixed pretty well top up with cold tap water . Let all the bubbles spill over . YAY...The laundry detergent is ready to use. It creats less sudds so can be used in the HE washers also .


Brocoli,caulifloer and green pepper paratha /Brocoli cauliflower,green pepper stuffed indian bread

                                  As the school is approching in less than three weeks I am already gearing myself up for the busy mornings . Like every mom ,I want to sneak vegetables in every meal . Everyone in this household loves parathas . On a visit to a friend in New Jearsey ,they have ordered paratha from a special paratha place . Their menu had almost 100 varieties of parathas . This inspired me to make this one .

What we need :-

3 cups hole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
water as needed to make soft dough
2 cups grated brocoli
2 cups grated cauliflower
1 green pepper finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ginger paste
3/4 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp cilatro finelly chopped
Ghee or butter to fry (optional )

How we proceed :-

1. Make a soft dough using as much water needed .
2. Keep aside for 30 mins
3. Mix grated cauliflower,brocoli and chopped pepper .
4. Add ginger -garlic paste , garam masala ,cilantro and salt .
5. Take two lime sized dough balls and roll them in a 6-8 inch diameter .
6. Put 2-3 tbsp of stuffing on one circle .
7. Cover with another circle .
8. Roll into 8-9 inch diameter .
9.Fry on a hot gridle with little ghee .
10. Serve hot .

                    These parathas taste eqully good even after they are cooled down completely . Add yogurt and pickle to go with these in the lunch box .

Shea Butter Lavender Soap

                      With Princess Pea's sensitive skin , I wanted to make a soap at home . Commercially available soaps ,even the ones for specifically sensitive and dry skin are not helping . My friend Nicole was talking about how she makes lotions and lip balms at home . She told me about the pour and mold soaps and how I can customize them . This was the first time I ever made soap at home and am very pleased with the result .This did not give her a new allergic reaction . I always wanted to buy handmade soaps from the farmer's market I visit every week but the price kept me away . On my next trip to Michaels I came home with the soap base .
                       The soap can be customized in every possible way . I added shea butter and heavy cream to make it even more moisturizing .The steps are easy as 1-2-3 .

Material needed :

      Soap base ( i used shea butter )
      2 heaped Tbsp Shea butter
      1/8 cup heavy cream
      couple of drops of lavender essential oil

To proceed :

1. Melt the base according to the pakage directions .

2. Add Shea butter and heavy cream . Mix well .

3.Add essential oil.

4. Pour in the molds . Wait for an hour and demold .

                      After the success of this soap the next one will have more moisturizing elements to it such as oatmeal powder , almond and coconut oil . I will be back with the update on them very soon .

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Flower Garden Hat

             As last day of school nears ,comes fun time . Every day Princess Pea's class has a day to celebrate . When I saw " Fancy Hat Day "on the list ,I immediately knew I have got a chance to be "the best mom ever "again . After watching the real Prince's wedding on TV last year ,Princess Pea was fascinated by the hats royal ladies were wearing . I was ready to impress her .
              I did not buy anything for this craft . I had a dollar store hat and some artificial flowers .The lady bugs and butterflies were bought long time back for Junior's project . The hot glue gun made evrything hold together .

              The hat was a big hit among the kids and the teachers . This is a really fun project for kids .